RDOS on a roll in challenge

The regional district will be peddling for a three-peat during Bike to Work Week starting on Monday.

Penticton Mayor Dan Ashton takes a spin on a tricked-out tricycle with the help of RDOS CAO Bill Newell. The tricycle is up for grabs in a friendly Bike to Work Week challenge that is pitting the city and RDOS against each other.

The regional district will be peddling for a three-peat during Bike to Work Week starting on Monday.

The City of Penticton has been on the losing end of the annual friendly challenge which pits them against the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen in trying for the highest percentage of employee participation during Bike to Work Week, which this year takes place from May 30 to June 3. On the line is a beautifully decorated tricycle for the winning team, complete with a horn, faux fur and leopard spotted seat.

“We accept the challenge from the city and although we intend to win, we think everyone is winners just by participating,” said RDOS CAO, Bill Newell.

The losing team’s mayor or chair, who happens to be the same person — Dan Ashton,  will have to ride a tricycle down the 100 block of Main Street pushed by their respective CAO. The real incentive is to get more people involved.

All workplaces are encouraged to participate in Bike to Work Week and issue their own friendly challenges to rival companies. Celebration stations, with prizes and snacks, will be set up each day throughout the city. Thanks to community sponsors all aspects of the event are free.

“Every year when the cyclists come to the celebration stations they have such fun. It’s a chance to meet other people from other workplaces and they get their cup of coffee in and breakfast,” said one of the Bike to Work Week organizers Janice Johnson. “Rain or shine we will go ahead and we always have tents for people to stand under if it is raining. There is helmet and bike safety checks at each tent as well and people do take advantage of that because maybe they don’t have their helmet on quite right, or if they have questions they can ask the professionals there from The Bike Barn or Freedom Bike Shop.”

Last year, 63 workplaces in Penticton entered teams with a total of 377 cyclists and 45 first-time riders. Bike to Work Week falls on National Environment Week and National Clean Air Day on June 1. All riders must be registered before participating in order to keep track of the stats for Bike to Work Week organizers at the provincial level.

Prizes up for grabs for riders this year include a Trek Utopia bike from The Bike Barn and a Giant Simple 3 Cruiser from Freedom Bike Shop. The free events begin on Monday with a breakfast at Gyro Park from 7 to 9 a.m. On Tuesday the station will be set up on the corner of Government and Carmi at First Baptist Church, Wednesday at Whole Foods Market, Thursday at Oasis United Church and Friday at Nanaimo Square downtown where the draw for the bikes and other participation prizes will take place. Helmet and bike safety checks are available at the stations.

To sign up for Bike to Work Week visit www.biketowork.ca/Penticton or registration packages are available at the RDOS office at 101 Martin St.